What Do Animals Eat?

What Do Komodo Dragons Eat?

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The scientific name of komodo dragons is Varanus komodoensis. These creatures are also called as komodo monitors. Komodo dragons are a type of large lizard found predominantly in the Indonesian islands including Komodo, Gili Motang, Rinca, Padar and Flores. Komodo dragons are the largest among the different species of lizards living today. They can grow up to a length of about 3 meters and measure up to 70 kilograms. It is said that their habitats are not challenging for them as there are no bigger carnivores. Therefore, they have grown so big in their size. On account of their large size, usually komodo dragons are the bosses of their ecosystem.

A young komodo dragon feeding on a water buffalo carcassA young komodo dragon feeding on a water buffalo carcass. Photo by Mats Stafseng Einarsen.

Komodo dragons are hunters

Their most common types of prey include mammals, invertebrates and birds. Big sized komodo dragons may feed on deer and carrion. Komodo dragons take delight to stalk on live prey. In addition, they also demonstrate scavenger preying habits feeding on carcasses of dead animals. The types of animals they feed on include goats, snakes, monkeys, sheep, cattle, wild boar, water buffalo and deer. Komodo dragons exhibit cannibalistic eating habits in the sense that they feed on younger members of their clans in addition to weak and diseased bigger members. Usually about 10% of their prey is made of other dragons. It is also not common to see komodo dragons stalking on humans.

Young komodo dragons

Three komodo dragons feeding on a banded pig3 komodo dragons feeding on a banded pig. © Achmad Ariefiandy.

Once the young ones hatch from their eggs, they start feeding on insects. As they grow, they go on to hunt lizards, rodents and small mammals. In some cases, they also feed on the eggs of other wild animals.

Their hunting skills

Komodo dragons are very patient while hunting and they camouflage. They just lie down waiting for the prey to pass by. The body accessories that help them in feeding on animals include their very powerful legs, sharp and strong claws and serrated teeth resembling sharks. Their prominent physical features include long and flat heads, rounded snouts, bowed legs, long and big muscular tails and a scaly skin.

Deadly bite

Animals that escape from being a prey to the Komodo dragons have lesser chances to survive. The saliva of the komodo dragon teems with a very deadly venom. Therefore, the bites of komodo dragons are rather infectious and the animals bitten by them usually die within 24 hours due to the poisoning of blood. Therefore, even if the prey happens to escape, komodo dragons follow them stealthily and wait till they die to feed on them. In one meal, komodo dragons can eat as much as 80 percent of their total body weight.

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